Mushroom Risotto

Recipes

Mushroom Risotto
‘Mushrooms’ by Albert Kechyan

More a labour of love than a quick meal, risotto is simple in design, and yet without the requisite constant attention you can bargain that it will almost certainly fail to evolve into the silky, almost perfect dining experience it offers, while this recipe exemplifies how just one simple ingredient can lift a risotto to almost heavenly standards, which means you absolutely owe it to yourself to prepare and cook this beautiful meal and share with those you really care about and love in the knowledge that your gesture will not go unnoticed.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

6 Tbsps Olive Oil
150g Butter
250g Mushrooms (sliced)
Medium Red Onion (finely chopped)
3 Garlic Cloves (peeled and grated)
300g Risotto Rice
1 Litre Chicken Stock
Small Bottle of White Wine
2 Tbsps Lemon Juice
25g Pack of Fresh Basil (finely chopped)
150g Parmesan (grated)
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to taste

How to Cook

1. Heat half of the olive oil in a 26cm non-stick chef pan, add the mushrooms, stir-fry them until well cooked, and then remove and set them aside, adding any remaining mushroom liquid to the chicken stock.

2. Melt half of the butter in the same pan, add the onions and garlic, and stir-fry both until the onions are soft, but not browned.

3. Meanwhile, add the chicken stock to an 18cm non-stick saucepan, and keep it warm on a low heat while you prep the risotto.

4. Add the white wine to the onions, and reduce by half over a medium heat while stirring.

5. Add the risotto rice to the onions, stir well to coat everything, and add a ladleful of the stock, stirring constantly until the stock has been absorbed by the rice.

6. Continue this process until all of the stock has been added, and the rice is now looking thick and glutenous

7. Gently fold the mushrooms, remaining butter, chopped basil, lemon juice and most of the parmesan into the rice, season with salt and pepper, stirring well to combine the ingredients.

8. Finally cover the pan, turn off the heat, and allow it to sit for 5-6 minutes, before serving as required with a sprinkling of parmesan on each portion.

Comments
When I cook this (and many other types of risotto) for my family, I typically serve it with either a crisp salad, crusty buttered rolls, or both if the appetite is wanting, however it’s just as good served as is, with a nice bottle of white wine to suit your palate.

The Dal and Rice sections are now complete.

A Cookbook for Food Lovers

Dal and Rice
‘Bowl of Rice with Soy Sauce’ by Faith Te

I’m happy to say that the dal and rice sections have now been written up, and so it only leaves me to add the brief but essential ‘Sides’ section and then begins the proofing and editing phase of this wonderful and diverse cookbook now titled ‘A Cookbook for Food Lovers’.

At this point I aim to have the book ready for purchase in the next two to three weeks, while as things progress I will naturally update this part of the site, while I’m excited to share these great meals with as many people as possible, and although it’s simple enough concept, there have been many unexpected elements to its writing than I first anticipated, so it just goes to show how it’s the simple things that often end up more complex than might be imagined.

Anyway here are the recipes, and while there are only a few dal’s, they were included primarily because of their ability to stand out from what can sometimes prove bland and uninspired dishes, which loosely translates that they’re merely the best of a large number cooked and eaten (at least as far as my family’s taste buds were concerned), while the rice dishes are all equally fantastic.

Dals

(1) Brown Lentils with Shallots

(2) Five Spice Red Lentils

(3) Green Lentils with Kale

(4) Green Lentils with Mint and Coriander

(5) Lentil and Garlic Dal

(6) Mung Dal with Onions

(7) Red Lentils and Ginger

(8) Rich and Spicy Dal

(9) Tarka Dal

(10) Tomato and Red Lentil Dal

Rice

(1) Aromatic Indian Rice with Peas

(2) Basmati Pilaf with Carrot and Mint

(3) Basmati Pilaf with Dill and Cardamom

(4) Basmati Rice with Cauliflower and Peas

(5) Basmati Rice with Cinnamon

(6) Basmati Rice with Lentils

(7) Basmati Rice with Whole Garam Masalas

(8) Brown Rice with Lime

(9) Caribbean Rice and Peas

(10) Cashew Nut and Curry Leaf Rice

(11) Egg Fried Rice

(12) Egyptian Rice with Lentils

(13) Fenugreek Rice and Peas

(14) Ginger and Garlic Rice

(15) Hyderabadi Spiced Rice

(16) Indonesian Coconut Rice

(17) Lemon-Laced Rice

(18) Lemon Rice

(19) Mushroom Pilau

(20) Pea and Mushroom Pilau

(21) Perfect Basmati Rice

(22) Rice and Mung Dal

(23) Rice with Dill and Peas

(24) Rice with Peas

(25) Rice with Mushrooms and Mustard Seeds

(26) Saigon Chilli Rice

(27) Sri Lankan Rice with Fresh Coriander and Lemongrass

(28) Tanzanian Vegetable Rice

(29) Whole Spice Pilau

(30) Yellow Pilau Rice

(31) Yellow Basmati Rice with Sesame Seeds

The Vegetables section is now finished.

A Cookbook for Food Lovers

Vegetables
‘Still Life with Vegetables’ by Yana Golikova

Far and away the biggest section in the forthcoming cookbook ‘Our Favourite Recipes: A Cookbook for Food Lovers’, I am very happy to say that this chapter is now complete, and so it only remains for me to write up the rice, dals, and sides sections, which brings me ever closer to finally having the book ready for publication.

So without further ado, here below are the recipes patiently waiting for you to cook and digest, and remember that they don’t get in without passing muster with my family of discerning diners, so always trust that nothing is left to waste, only to enjoy.

(1) Aromatic Vegetable Curry with Mushrooms and Beans

(2) Artichoke Risotto

(3) Asparagus Risotto

(4) Basmati Rice with Potatoes

(5) Bean Feast

(6) Bean Feast with Salsa

(7) Black-eyed Peas with Coriander and Chilli

(8) Broad Bean and Cauliflower Curry

(9) Butter Bean and Mushroom Casserole

(10) Butter Beans with Mustard and Tomato

(11) Cauliflower and Cashew Curry

(12) Cauliflower and Coconut Milk Curry

(13) Cauliflower in Curry Sauce

(14) Chhole

(15) Chickpea, Courgette and Pepper Stew

(16) Chickpea Curry

(17) Chickpeas in Tea

(18) Chickpea Stew

(19) Chickpea, Sweet Potato and Chili Dhal

(20) Chickpeas in a Coriander Sauce

(21) Chickpeas in a Northern-Style Sauce

(22) Chickpeas with Mushrooms

(23) Chickpeas with Tomatoes and Harissa

(24) Chilli Lentils with Spiced Vegetables

(25) Chilli Pasta Bake with Kidney Beans

(26) Conchigli with Cavalo Nero

(27) Corn and Cashew Curry

(28) Creamed Kidney Beans with Lentils

(29) Curried Kidney Beans

(30) Curried Spinach and Potato with Chillies

(31) Curried Spinach and Chickpeas

(32) Egg and Lentil Curry

(33) Genoese-Style Pasta

(34) Goan Black-eyed Peas with Coconut

(35) Golden Vegetable Paella

(36) Green Beans with Coconut

(37) Hot and Sour Chickpeas

(38) Italian Bean Casserole

(39) Jungle Curry

(40) Kodava Mushroom Curry

(41) Leek, Mushroom and Lemon Risotto

(42) Malaysian Split Pea and Vegetable Curry

(43) Masala Chana

(44) Mixed Bean Curry

(45) Mixed Vegetable Curry

(46) Mixed Vegetable and Macaroni Bake

(47) Moroccan Spaghetti

(48) Mungs Beans with Potatoes

(49) Mushroom Macaroni Cheese

(50) Mushroom Risotto

(51) Pasta with Autumn Tomato Sauce

(52) Pasta with Peas and Parmesan Pasta with Roasted Vegetables

(53) Pasta with Sautéed Vegetables and Tomato Sauce

(54) Pasta with Slow Cooked Cabbage, Parmesan and Pine Nuts

(55) Pasta with Smothered Onion Sauce

(56) Penne All’ Arabiata

(57) Penne with Artichokes

(58) Penne with Peas, Pepper, Proscuitto and Cream

(59) Penne with Tomato and Balsamic Vinegar

(60) Potato and Cauliflower Curry

(61) Potato and Spinach Curry

(62) Red Bean Chilli

(63) Red Beans with Ginger and Chilli

(64) Red Pepper Risotto

(65) Simple Courgette Curry

(66) South Indian Potato Curry

(67) Spaghetti with Garlic Oil and Chilli

(68) Spaghetti with Lemon, Garlic Thyme and Mushrooms

(69) Spaghetti with Raw Tomatoes and Peppers

(70) Spaghetti with Tomato and Basil

(71) Spicy Chickpeas with Cumin Potatoes

(72) Spiced Chickpeas with Sweet Yellow Rice

(73) Spicy Chickpeas with Fresh Ginger

(74) Spiced Kidney Bean Stew

(75) Spicy Chickpeas and Potatoes

(76) Spicy Parsnip and Chickpea Stew

(77) Sri-Lankan Chickpea Curry

(78) Summer Vegetable Risotto

(79) Tagliatelle with Leeks Tomato Biryani

(80) Vegetable Biryani Vegetable Chilli

(81) Vegetable Curry

(82) White Bean Chilli

Chhole

Recipes

Chhole
‘Beans Chickpeas’ by Alessandra Andrisani

This is an absolutely simple and yet utterly delicious vegetarian curry that can be easily tempered to suit your spice and heat threshold, while the fresh mint and coriander combination creates a taste that brings you back time and time again.

The added bonus is that this uncomplicated marriage of fresh herbs and tomatoes also wins votes with both adults and children alike, and what’s even more appealing is that it takes very little time to prepare and cook too.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

4 Tbsps of Olive Oil
2 400g Tins of Chickpeas (Drained and Rinsed)
2 Medium Onions (Finely Chopped)
4 Garlic Cloves (Peeled and Grated)
Tbsp Ground Coriander
Tbsp Ground Cumin
Tsp Ground Turmeric
Tsp Garam Masala
Tsp Paprika
4 Whole Vine Tomatoes (Chopped)
Medium Green or Red Chilli (Seeded and Finely Chopped)
25g Pack of Fresh Coriander (Finely Chopped)
Tbsp Fresh Mint (Finely Chopped)
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to Taste
500ml Water

How to Cook

1. Heat the oil in a non-stick chef pan (or similar), add the chopped onions and garlic, and stir-fry them until the onions are lightly browned.

2. Add the chopped chilli, cumin, ground coriander, turmeric, paprika and garam masala, and stir well to coat everything.

3. Add the chickpeas, chopped tomatoes, fresh coriander, fresh mint and salt and pepper, bring to the boil, and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened, and then serve.

Comments
This healthy and incredibly tasty dish goes brilliantly with any rice, however a simple plain basmati rice will easily suffice, and you could also have some nice warmed chapatis and freshly sliced cucumber if preferred.

Mung Beans with Potatoes

Recipes

Mung Beans with Potatoes
‘Basket of Potatoes’ by Vincent Van Gogh

Undoubtedly one of my own personal favourites, this delicious combination of soft tender potatoes, with sweet tomato coated mung beans, never fails to satisfy when I make it, and I’m supremely confident that if you give it a try yourself, you’ll quickly become another fan of this truly ‘moreish’ meal.

Ingredients (Serves 4)
Slug of Olive Oil
175g Mung Beans
2 Medium Potatoes (Peeled and Cut into Small Dice)
Garlic Clove (Peeled and Grated)
1” Fresh Ginger (Peeled and Grated)
400g Tin of Chopped Tomatoes
Tbsp Tomato Purée
0.5 Tsp Cumin Seeds
0.5 Tsp Brown Sugar
6 Curry Leaves (Fresh or Dried)
0.5 Tsp Ground Turmeric
Medium Red or Green Chilli (Seeded and Finely Chopped)
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to Taste
750ml Water

How to Cook

1. Add the mung beans to the water and simmer in a small pan for around 30 minutes, draining away any excess liquid when finished.

2. Par-boil the diced potatoes in another small pan for around 9 minutes, draining away any excess liquid when finished.

3. Meanwhile heat the oil in a non-stick chef pan (or similar), add the cumin seeds, shortly followed by the garlic, chilli and ginger, before stir-frying until the garlic is soft but not browned.

4. Add the turmeric, salt and pepper, and sugar, and mix well before stir-frying for a further 1-2 minutes

5. Add the chopped tomatoes and tomato purée, and bring them to the boil before simmering covered for 6-8 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.

6. Finally add the mung beans and potatoes and gently mix everything together before serving as required.

Comments
This awesome vegetarian dish goes brilliantly with warm chapatis, but is equally delightful with a simple plain basmati rice if preferred.

Haddock with Creamed Leeks, Beans and Parsley

Recipes

Haddock with Creamed Leek, Beans and Parsley

Haddock is a great alternative to cod, and so this simple and yet nourishing dish ought to please most fish lovers, while its composition also proves that simplicity is always the key when cooking, as I am confident you will agree when you eventually get around to trying this recipe for yourself.

Ingredients (Serves 4)
Large Slug of Olive Oil
2 Leeks (Trimmed, Split and Finely Sliced)
4 Decent Sized Fresh Haddock Fillets (Un-skinned)
50g Green Beans (Trimmed and Chopped)
200ml Double Cream
Tsp English Mustard
Handful of Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to taste

How to Cook

1. Place the haddock fillets on a plate, brush with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, before setting aside.

2. Heat the oil in a non-stick sauce pan (or similar), add the leeks and beans, and gently fry until soft and tender, straining off any residual liquid that appears.

3. Add the cream, salt and pepper, mustard and gently simmer in the cream until suitably thickened.

4. Add some oil to a non-stick frying pan, and gently fry the haddock fillets until browned underneath.

5. Place the partially cooked fillets on a non-stick roasting tray in the centre of an oven, (preheated to 170°) and continue to cook them for another 3-4 minutes.

6. Remove the fillets, place the cooked vegetables in the center of four plates, gently resting each haddock fillet on top, and then carefully spoon the sauce over the top before serving.

Comments
This particular meal is perfect with a nice side of mashed or roast potatoes, and goes equally well with a crisp leaf salad and chilled white wine, if preferred.

Cumberland Sausage and Split Pea Casserole

Recipes

Cumberland Sausage & Split Pea Casserole

This is a deliciously simple, and yet comforting dish that can be prepared and cooked with minimum fuss, and is also perfect for this time of year. If you want to jazz the taste up a little, then by all means use pork sausages with chilli seasoning, or even paprika if you can buy them in your local supermarket, either way it will still go down well.

Ingredients (Serves 4)
A Large Slug of Olive Oil
30g Butter
8 Cumberland Sausages
Medium Onion (Finely Sliced)
2 Garlic Cloves (Peeled and Grated)
200g Split Peas
Small Bottle Red Wine
2 Sprigs of Whole Fresh Thyme (or 2 tsps Dried Thyme)
500ml Chicken Stock
6 Tbsps Crème Fraîche 
Tbsp Dijon Mustard
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to taste

How to Cook

1. Heat the oil in a non-stick chef pan (or similar) and gently stir-fry the sausages until golden brown, and then remove them and set aside on kitchen paper to soak up any excess fat.

2. Add the butter to the pan, and stir-fry the onions and garlic until the onions are lightly golden and soft.

3. Add the split peas and  red wine, and then simmer to reduce the wine by half, before adding the stock and seasoning, along with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

4. Cover the pan and then simmer everything gently for 1 hour, or until the split peas are tender to touch.

5. Meanwhile combine the crème fraîche and mustard in a small bowl.

6. Once cooled, slice the sausages into 1″ thick slices, and add them to the pan, before simmering everything again for a further 5 minutes in order to heat the sliced sausages through.

7. Serve equally into bowls and then add a hearty dollop of the crème fraîche and mustard mix on top before serving.

Comments
This dish would go well with either buttered mashed potatoes, or even a nice fluffy basmati rice if preferred, or simply with a buttered crusty bread of your choice.